The Federal Government has taken delivery of over 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine donated by the United Kingdom (UK) Government.
The doses are to be administered on Nigerians that have taken their first shots.
The Acting British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gill Atkinson, who presented the vaccines to the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, said that ”the vaccines were donated for the wellbeing of Nigerians.”
”The UK was one of the first countries to back COVAX with €548m. We have consistently pushed for a global effort that help every country receive the vaccine against Covid-19.
”I am so pleased to see Nigeria receive 699,760 doses, donated by the UK, in their second batch of the vaccine through COVAX. This is the first trench of the 1,299,760 doses expected to be donated by the UK through COVAX. Only by vaccinating more people around the world can we bring an end to the global coronavirus pandemic,” Atkinson said.
She also said that ”the UK has donated approximately five million doses to COVAX to be sent to African countries and three million of those doses are sent to Africa.”
The Acting British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gill Atkinson (R)
Atkinson stressed that donating through COVAX helped to increase vaccine coverage, ensure that no dose goes to waste and helps to bring to an end the acute phase of the pandemic.
The Country Representative of the World Health Organisation, Dr. Walter Mulombo, who witnessed the receipt of the vaccine commended the UK government for the donation.
He noted that the Covid-19 vaccine portfolio of Nigeria is growing.
“We are happy that the vaccine COVID-19 portfolio in Nigeria is growing and opening prospect to cover the eligible population in COVID-19 vaccine towards achieving health immunity. The contribution today of over six hundred and minty nine thousand AstraZeneca vaccines by the UK government is really a big relief for us knowing that we have a number of Nigerians who got the first and were waiting for the second shot. It is really important that those who were waiting for the second shot get it,” Mulombo said.
He urged Nigerians to willingly receive the vaccine as it is certified safe.
On his part, the Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib said that ”the 699,760 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine donated by the UK Government, would be deployed immediately to the States and would be administered as second dose to those who had earlier received only the first dose of the vaccine during the first phase of the vaccination roll out.”
He said; ”I therefore enjoin all those who have received AstraZeneca as first dose to visit the nearest vaccination site to receive the second dose to be assured of full protection. We have also received communications from the COVAX facility of an additional 801,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines. These doses are donation from the Canadian Government and would be available for delivery by the end of August.”
According to him, the AstraZeneca is a vaccine that Nigerians are all familiar with and the health workers are experienced in its administration and management.
” Let me assure all Nigerians, that all vaccines certified by NAFDAC are highly effective against Covid-19 virus, including the Delta variant. And also, to reiterate the fact that WHO does not approve mixing of different brands of COVID-19 vaccine. The same vaccine must be taken for both first and second dose,” Shuaib stated.
He therefore urge all persons 18 years and above, that are due for the second dose of AstraZeneca to visit the vaccination site and encourage friends, families, and neighbours to do same to ensure full protection from the virus.
” Getting vaccinated is a collective responsibility as you do not only protect yourself but also your loved ones and community. We will continue to strengthen our collaboration with all stakeholders and our partners, under the guidance of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure we surpass the achievement of the first phase”. Dr Shuaib added.
The second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination has commenced in earnest across the country.